FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do we charge for our 3D printing?
The main driver for price is weight. Weight is based on the amount of material that the part has and as a result the amount of time the machine will take to turn the powder into solid.
What is the maximum size part you can print?
Will my part be 3D printed with other parts and how does this affect the pricing and lead time?
What file format is best?
Can any part be selectively laser melted?
Generally yes, although success in SLM depends a lot on the shape of the part. Parts that have intricate details which are difficult to machine or contain areas of curves and complex surfaces, lend themselves well to SLM manufacturing.
What are the design restrictions?
3D manufacturing enables design freedom. This allows designers and engineers to follow where their imagination takes them. The printing process simply follows this design freedom, easily and cost-effectively producing complex, high spec pieces that traditional manufacturing processes could simply not produce.
Quality control is an important part of the design and manufacturing process, with finished pieces needing to be consistently reliable. We run tensile bars and test every build. This enables us to ensure the build process meets specification but also tracks general production processes over a long period of time.
TECHNICAL - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you have a minimum wall thickness for each material?
Should I design solid parts, or can I work with you to create hollowed out structures with lattice infill?
Talk to us about hollow parts and lattice infills and we will advise what is the best option for your part. We encourage complex shapes, so we do suggest if keeping a part solid, then only keep the material that is needed for the performance and strength of the part. Lattice infill is a very effective method to remove a lot of weight from a part (and often cost if left solid) without the designer needing to create complex and time-consuming pocketing or cavities.
Does a lattice add much cost?
With the infill, how do I specify its style and density.
What shape is the lattice?
Can you take a customer’s solid part and determine the wall thickness and lattice?
Can I create variable wall thickness parts – both with and without lattice?
Do I need a drain hole for internal cavities – if so what size?
What affects part distortion – i.e. total size / solid thickness / sudden thickness changes / overhangs that droop?
Do you add support structure to prevent part drooping or distortions during the print?
Do I need to orient the part in the way it will be printed or does RAM do this?
Can you print a thread, or should I print a tapping hole and cut the thread myself?
What acurracy does the process achieve?
Accuracy is +/- 50 microns, however, there are some variations to this, mostly to do with the shape of the part. Rapid changes to the part shape can have an effect on accuracy and also the part will have some support material on it. This is a structure made at the same time as the part to support certain angles etc. Where this support has been attached, there will be a difference in accuracy.